The government has decided to stop issuing manual armed licences and directed the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) to issue computerised licences by August 31, said Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik.
He was talking to reporters on Monday after presiding over a meeting on law and order situation at Crises Management Cell.
Dozens of weapons are being purchased on one licence and there has been no proper record, he said. Many groups have been involved in making counterfeit licences which have led to a large amount of arms being smuggled into Karachi from Dara Adamkhel and the tribal areas of the country, he said. By law one person is allowed five weapons on one licence, but people get dozens of weapons and there has been no proper record of the licence holders.
Malik also said that Nadra has developed a highly secured armed licence management system under which transparent and authentic process will be carried out. He said that Nadra would also verify the old licences which would be computerised.
The government will start the de-weaponising campaign in different phases and people possessing illegal weapons will face a punishment of seven to 14 years.
According to the interior minister, terrorists were using bogus mobile SIM cards to plan out their activities in the county. “We warn people again to get their SIM cards registered by September 5 and block the ones issued by someone else on their identity cards,” urged Malik. “Otherwise cases would be lodged against the SIM holders.”
The Sindh Home Minister Manzoor Wassan said that they would talk to Sindhi nationalists and address their grievances. He felt that, as the government has restored the local government system in all of Sindh, the nationalists should stop their campaign against the government.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2011.